Outrage Brewing Over New Stonewall Movie

Critics are saying it whitewashes history.

A scene from "Stonewall."

A scene from “Stonewall.”

Members of the LGBTQ community are becoming increasingly vocal over their disdain regarding the upcoming release of Stonewall, a film loosely based on the events of the Stonewall riots.

The problem? It’s too loosely based on history, according to critics. One anonymous blogger, whose commentary “Whitewashing History: Stonewall Movie Leaves Out Trans Women and Black Drag Queens Who Started the Movement” received over 17,000 Facebook shares in less than 24 hours, wrote, “The trailer claims to be a ‘true story’, and tells the audience that a young, white, cisgender, gay man was the first to throw a brick and start the Stonewall Riots. In reality, hundreds of eye witness accounts and documented evidence have said the riots were started by black drag queens and transgender women.”

Others quickly agreed that the film appears to whitewash LGBTQ history. Maitri Mehta, a commentator for Bustle, questioned if pop culture can truly celebrate “progress” if key voices are missing:

“This year was one of the most historic years in American legal history for granting civil rights to the LGBT community, and of course, it’s important that filmmakers are celebrating the origins of the gay rights movement. But is it really progress if films like Stonewall still don’t include all of the heroes who sacrificed so much, in favor of centering the stories around cisgender white men? It’s especially important to note, considering the film aims to tell the story of ‘unsung heroes.'”

Meanwhile, there’s been calls to protest the film, and a petition created by Pat Cordova-Goff has received nearly 3,000 pledges to boycott Stonewall. Part of the petition reads:

“It is time that black and brown transwomyn and drag queens are recognized for their efforts in the riots throughout the nation. From the preview alone, we know that will not be happening. [The] majority of characters casted are white actors, cis men play[ing] the role of transwomyn, and folks who began the riots do not seem to be credited with such revolutionary acts. WE ARE CALLING A BOYCOTT OF STONEWALL. Do not throw money at the capitalistic industry that fails to recognize true s/heros. Do not support a film that erases our history. Do not watch Stonewall.”

The film is due out in theaters September 25th; you can watch the full trailer below: